Chinese for the Kindergarten Class

"What do people in China eat?" "Why does your dress open on both sides like that?"

"There are people buried in the Great Wall of China!"

"Why does their language go up and down?"

"They don't use the alphabet?"

These are a few of the comments and questions asked by Number 2's kindergarten class yesterday when I came as a special guest during their study of the Chinese culture. I wore my traditional dress in Chinese brocade, and taught them a song in Mandarin. It's amazing how accurately children can pronunciate. Mandarin is like singing. That's why it goes up and down. And kids are good at singing!

They asked for an example of how a word, spoken with different tones, could mean different things. Chicken is a good example, I explained. Chicken is first tone. to mail something is fourth tone. "You wouldn't want to say we're eating our mail for dinner!" Chuckle, giggle, squeal. As my gifting is more with college age, rather than little ones, I attempted to be playful and not academic. I was laughing at some of my animations: 1st tone-high on my tip toes, 2nd tone (climbing a mountain), 3rd tone (riding an elevator), 4th tone (pirate)...all in my silky dress with openings on both sides.

They did have one last question:

"Did you bring us sweet and sour chicken?"

I didn't have the heart to tell them that Chinese people don't usually eat sweet and sour chicken!